Bar None: Block #66

Our business involves deadlines, and I was way past my deadline to design something for 100 Blocks. Feeling the crunch, I doodled at my desk one day and came up with Bar None.

QMMS 091033 P DIANE H Bar None: Block #66

Bar None by Diane Harris

I love working with a 12″ format when I’m designing, because it’s divisible by so many numbers: 2, 3, 4, and 6. The possibilities are endless.

Bar None is a very simple block, so I used interesting fabrics to spice it up. Here are a few hints for choosing fabrics in a scrappy project:

  1. All the colors should not “match”. If you use blacks, for instance, choose blacks that are different from one another. Sameness = boring.
  2. Choose a variety of motifs in the fabrics. Bar None has stripes, polka dots, very graphic letters and a little ditzy print just in the black/white areas.
  3. Mix up the values a bit. The blues in Bar None are very light, medium, medium dark and dark-with-lots-of-other-colors.
  4. If something sticks out like a sore thumb, add more of it. I learned this in a class with Roberta Horton and it’s been an invaluable lesson.

What are your tips for choosing scrappy fabrics? Leave a comment here by noon Monday, Nov. 16 and you could win a free copy of 100 Blocks.

QM100BlocksCover125px1 Bar None: Block #66

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of 100 Blocks!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

The winner is Chris, #26. Congratulations!

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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64 Responses to Bar None: Block #66

  1. Karen says:

    I love the simplicity of this block!

  2. Joyce E says:

    For scrap quilt fabrics just remember, the more the merrier!

  3. Lisa Ash says:

    scrappy (adjective): consisting of scraps. Don’t buy any fabric . . . use up those SCRAPS!

  4. Bridget La Rose says:

    I try to sort my scraps by color, then when I am ready to make a scrap quilt I grab two or three bags and then pull from those.

  5. MStark says:

    The best tip I can think of is to see your scraps as new projects.
    As soon as you finish your quilt, cut your left overs into strips, squares and bricks. Also, I like to have nine patches and half-square triangles ready made for projects or borders.`

  6. Ursula Sylvan says:

    Sometimes it is easier to go scrappy when you have a specific theme in mind, such as Asian fabrics, polka dots, fall colors etc. It really helps if you have one unifying fabric for a sashing or one fabric that shows up in each block. Otherwise, don’t think about how they come together, because they always do!!!

  7. Joyce Barham says:

    I have a basket for small scraps and when I’m making a scrap quilt, I pull a piece and sew it to the next. Doesn’t matter the color. If you think it’s too ugly, then it’s not cut small enough!
    Stack fqs and pull a good variety from them. Don’t think too much, just pull, cut and sew. Ugly fabrics make a scrap quilt POP!

  8. Beth says:

    Unless I am doing a controlled scrap quilt where I may use only two or three colors, I concentrate on lights and darks. I agree with #4. A bit more of a sore thumb fabric and soon it looks like it belongs.

  9. Carol Sc says:

    I divide my “scraps” into light and dark — put them in two bags and pull out, as needed. I try very hard to accept whatever I grab, even if I don’t particularly like the combination. I see, by reading the other comments, that I am one of many to employ this method.

  10. fleurette says:

    Thanks for the hints.I usually choose from my scrap box first, then visit my favourite shop and purchase the fabrics that grab me and will add spice, a mix of motives. Then cant wait to complete the quilt -so exciting to see how it turns out.its always a lovely surprise.

  11. Mel Meister says:

    I get rather uptight when choosing scrappy blocks. One of the best things I have learned is sometimes you just have to put your scraps in a bag and draw them out, one by one and then use them in that order!

  12. JoAnne says:

    If I have it in my stash, it will work in a scrappy project. All colors go together, just look at nature!

  13. Dee J0hnson says:

    Always add a bit of white to your tan background fabrics to add sparkle -

  14. I love scrappy quilts and try to use a bunch of prints for each color instead of the same fabric, if the quilt has blocks where certain colors should be in certain places. I like using my digital camera too~ taking a gray scale shot really makes the ‘odd’ spots pop. :)

  15. becanne says:

    If you have some bits that are worrying you, take a photo on your digital camera and base your decision on the photo instead of your eyes. Sounds crazy but it works!

  16. Edith says:

    I always pick one common color to bring it all together. I usually add a shade of purple because its my favorite color. It also goes with anything!

  17. Susan G says:

    r None block. My only tip for a scrappy block is to not think so much about it. After years of garment sewing it’s been hard to let go and just see what happens – usually something terrific.

  18. MarthaJ says:

    separate lights from darks. Then those fabrics in between, I try for as much contrast as possible.

  19. Lori R says:

    My best tip is to raid my sister’s stash!

  20. Joy P says:

    For scrap pieces I go to my bins. They are the left overs from past quilts. I love pointing at my scrap quilts and saying…that fabric is from when I made this quilt that I gave to …. And I don’t try to coordinate them at all. Just pull at random from the pile.

  21. Cindi C says:

    This has been great fun! Thanks! Can’t wait to see the ALL the blocks.

  22. Donna Knight says:

    My tip would be NOT to overmatch. That’s what I tend to do, resulting in a ‘muddy’ mess. Often the block you don’t like will be one you do like when it’s in your quilt.

  23. I love this block! So simple, but still interesting. I’m sure it will look so different in different fabrics — lots of possibilities!

  24. Teaquilts says:

    My tip for working with scrap fabrics is to use them all. I find most quilters will not add holiday/seasonal prints into their scrap quilts. I get a kick out of finding an Easter egg, snowman, four leaf clover, etc. hiding in my quilt. Makes cuddling more cozy. :0)

  25. kersten says:

    Bar none-fun idea for a scrappy block! Great tips for choosing scrappy fabrics.

  26. Nancy says:

    I have such a problem with scrappy that I can only do what I call “controlled scrappy” lol. I have started purchasing a few charm packs and layer cakes, so even though a project will be scrappy…it will come from coordinating fabrics. Am I sick or what?????

  27. Kris S says:

    Very cute block. I like scrap quilting. Although it seems like I usually buy more fabric to complement my scraps. Hmmm! No wonder I never use up all my scraps. Please enter me in the drawing.

  28. SewLindaAnn says:

    *I won a magazine already so don’t put me in.
    I wanted to comment on your block. It’s really cool, very simplistic and dramatic at the same time. When picking out scraps I like to try to be more daring about color combinations and find that I also like learning more about blending different prints along with solids that pop. It’s a fun process.

  29. Jocelyn says:

    I love making scrappy quilts and projects. I made a jacket (covering a sweatshirt) where I used a lot of my thimbleberries/kansas troubles fabrics. They don’t all match but it really turned out great (made from stitching different size blocks together then were cut into a roll). I think the most fun project was putting the scraps in a paper bag and pulling out a different fabric. It turned out so different then I ever thought it would. The only problem was that it was like rabbits and they just kept mulitiplying :-) I ended up making a quilt for myself and one to giveaway.

  30. DianeY says:

    I enjoyed everyone else’s comments-I guess i need to stop thinking so much! I love your tip that if it sticks out like a sore thumb, use more of it!

  31. Cecilia Young says:

    I don’t have very many scraps yet, but I’m collecting them from quilting friends. I have enjoyed reading all of the tips above.

  32. Laura Tawney says:

    If I’m doing something scrappy I pull it out of a box to the side of me randomly (but of course I may have put just the right scraps in the box) sort of a controlled random kind of thing!
    Laura T

  33. Kathy (Utah) says:

    ps my tip is to just start picking fabrics out of my stash and throwing it all in a big pile — keeping what I like and throwing out what I don’t like.

  34. Kathy (Utah) says:

    Thanks for the tips on selecting fabric! That is exactly what I needed. Your block is full of character and interest — love it!

  35. arlette says:

    I love the strips look like block, I’m going with the tip number four, I like multicoloured or a certain colour shade just degratated, a little bit similar to your numero 3 tip, I like to use as well if the quilt is going to get big, small prints (draws or motifs), a little bit similar between them, that way it won’t get lost!, well I love the hints you gave us, thank you! lol

  36. Karen CA says:

    unfortunately i don’t have a tip, but am learning from the other tips here … i think i tend to overthink the whole thing and i need to just let go and go with it … karen ca

  37. Bonnie says:

    I have only made one for a Charity group I belong to and I just grabbed blindly into my bag of scraps, when finished I just wasn’t happy so I did a tea dye and it was beautiful, everything now seemed to work.

  38. jaybird says:

    my tip.. try not to think about it too much.. it usually works best that way… i often put scraps in a paper bag and pull out a few.. more often than not i can make them work well together!

  39. Chris says:

    Sometimes it is the really, really “ugly” fabrics that give a scrap quilt life. Of course, everyone’s definition of “ugly” can vary. :-)

  40. Norma says:

    I usually go through and just pick out the scraps that look well together.

  41. Vicki says:

    My tip would be “Don’t over think it!” which is exactly what I tend to do:)

  42. Judy says:

    I love using up my scraps of fabric doing sampler quilts

  43. dianne says:

    scrappy is difficult for me – i like your tip of using MORE of things that stick out like a sore thumb cuz that happens to me a lot!

  44. A great way to have a lot of scraps is to purchase fat quarters or straight 1/8′s if you only want a little of each fabric.

  45. Katie B says:

    I try to stick with a similar color family.

  46. Shelly says:

    Put your scraps in a bag and pull one out as you need it. You will have a truly scrappy quilt.

  47. Shelly says:

    It depends on how scrappy you want it. I sometimes separate the lights and darks. However, if the blocks are going to be somewhat small, throw all the scraps in a bag and just pull pieces as you sew. You never know what you will get!

  48. Cara says:

    I need tips on scrappy! I’m not very good at it. I’m much more at ease using a more limited pallets, or if I really do want something scrappy-esqe I use a whole line of fabric, maybe add a few from the same designer, but that’s as adventurous as I get.

  49. Dianne says:

    My tip is anything goes! The scrappier the better!

  50. Nancy B says:

    Other than a lot of contrast, anything goes – because there are no quilt police!

  51. Lynn S. says:

    My tip is to study the placement of the fabrics as they line up against each other. You want the fabrics to be featured and if the melt together–well, something is needed to grab the eye.

  52. Darlene B says:

    There should be no rules for scrappy quilts. Anything goes!

  53. Lynne says:

    Decide whether you want a controlled scrap quilt or just plain anything goes. Even Pick a time zone. Are you going to fussy cut or is it anything goes. Sometimes if there are a few constraints your scraps develop a personality. Only reject a piece if it shouts at you and I like to choose my scraps at random once I have set boundaries. Best of all Have lots of FUN :-)

  54. Jill M in OH says:

    Looks great! Love how the blues stand out!!

  55. Judy in SC says:

    Be sure to combine lights and darks-CONTRAST.

  56. Sarah Vee says:

    I like your tip #4 – I’m going to start using it. My tip for a scrap quilt would be “try it before you know you like it”. Play with the fabrics, put a mock block on a deign wall, don’t let your brain say no. Encourage “what if?”. If your heart jumps or you get a goofy grin – it’s good! i like to give myself challenges when I play with scraps. Like don’t use red. Or start with something you don’t like! I’ll be back to read other tips:)

  57. alda says:

    I just take them out from my scrap boxes, the variety of different scraps is the best.

  58. DianeH says:

    My tip is – don’t fuss too much when sewn together they will work.

  59. Mary Flynn says:

    The best tip I can give is contrast and variety. Don’t THINK TOO MUCH….mindlessly pick one and go for it. Yeah, I say that but I’m one who thinks too much! LOL

  60. Lisa England says:

    Use a big variety, and be sure that patches next to each other are different enough that they don’t look like one. The contrasts are what makes it interesting.

  61. lisa says:

    I don’t have any tips for scrappyu blocks other than just grab what you like from your stash and find things that would go with it from the stash. I only buy fabric at the moment to finish projects, and for backing. Someone sent me 35lbs of fabric from their stash and I am so happy to try and use it all up!

  62. Diane says:

    Here’s my tip: Check your stash and then go out and buy more fabric or fq’s to add to it. You can never have too many different fabrics in a scrappy quilt!

  63. gill says:

    my tip? the more the merrier!!

  64. Manuela says:

    stunning block! I´m thinking to make them with my Authentic FQ Bundle ;o) I would love to win a copy of this GREAT Magazin!
    regards Manuela

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